Power of Pride 4

The sin of pride is the child of unbelief. Pride springs from a disbelief of God to be what He is, in His immense and essential glory, in His infinite, underived, all-comprehending, incomprehensible self-sufficiency; and from a vain conceit of the creature’s being that which indeed it is not—that the creature is something independent of God. Whereas, without His all-supporting and all-supplying hand, it would soon sink into its first nothing, and be, as in and of itself it is, a mere vacuity, less than nothing, and vanity. (Anne Dutton, Letters on Spiritual Subjects)

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

It is perhaps a task without an end to discover the depths of pride and how it opposes any attribute of God, but perhaps the attributes of sovereignty and self-sufficiency are at the least toward the top of the list. This is not just for the unbeliever, but it is also for believers every single moment of every single day of their lives. God is sufficient in Christ for all things, yet we continually try to find ways to trust in self and rely on self. Our hearts constantly look for things that self can do instead of resting in Him alone.

While it is popular in the Reformed world to think of things as being means of grace, our hearts will quickly and easily turn to thinking that because we do certain things we will be given grace. If we think that God gives us grace because we perform certain actions, then we are not thinking of true grace at all. True grace is sovereign and is given at the mere pleasure of God who shows grace in order to manifest His glory. True grace is free-grace and so God gives grace to sinners apart from any causation within themselves. This is a necessary teaching if we are to seek and worship God in spirit and truth.

The first thing we can look at is the basic study of the Bible at home. Does it ever enter our minds that the trust study of the Bible will require grace from God or do we think our own minds and efforts are sufficient in the matter? Is God Himself sufficient to teach us? Do we really look to Him for this? We have many methods and rules for Bible study, but are they really sufficient to teach us the things of God? The Scriptures teach us that we need the illumination of the Spirit to show us the things of God, yet do we enter our study of the Bible depending on Him to teach us or do we just barge in depending on self though we may not think of it that way? God is under no obligation to sinners based on themselves and what they do to teach them and open their minds to His glories.

What is necessary for us to know is that pride will always hinder our study of Scripture since our study of Scripture is supposed to be a seeking of the face of God. Do we study the Scriptures as a way of seeking things for self or do we study the Scriptures seeking the face of God. Do preachers preach the Scriptures to show how they are so good with the Scriptures, have such knowledge, or perhaps what great evangelists they are or do they preach for the glory of God and so that men will seek the Lord Himself? This is not intended as a knock on all preachers as such, but surely we can see our own hearts displayed when we go to study the Bible in our own strength and for selfish reasons. Am I more interested in pleasing and seeking God or in gaining knowledge to impress others and self?

Our proud hearts are always seeking duties and things that are in our own strength to please God. We so want to be self-sufficient to some degree and in some way, but all of our efforts in the strength of self are nothing but pride and a desire to find a way to distinguish ourselves. Our pride will push us to do many things for the sake of self, but that is not seeking God. It is using the things of God as a way to seek self. It is indeed a vain conceit coming from a proud heart that tries to study the Scriptures without seeking the Lord for a humble heart which He alone can give so that we can seek His face rather than self in the study of the Scriptures. He gives spiritual understanding by free-grace alone and not because of any other reason. We should keep that in mind as we seek Him in all we do.

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